$211k Seized From Illegal Gambling Ring In Florida

Florida icon stateLake County, FL. – Just down the road from the most magical place in the world, authorities are wheeling off more than 170 gaming machines and over $211,000 in seized assets from illegal gambling houses.

Earlier this month, detectives with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department successfully raided four illegal gambling operations in conjunction with the Leesburg, Clermont, Eustis, and Mount Dora police. The investigation was rooted in concerns that unlawful gambling has caused an uptick in law enforcement service calls and other criminal activity closely related to illegal gambling ventures.

Lou Trombetta, Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC) executive director, told the media that “Illegal gambling establishments operate outside the legal, regulated market to exploit vulnerable Floridians, they are usually associated with organized crime, do not generate state tax revenue, and do not provide the same consumer protections or safeguards as legal gaming operators.”

Warrants were issued for the following locations in Lake County: Hot Spot—11145 U.S. Highway 441, Tavares, Hot Spot—11203 U.S. Highway 441, Tavares, Cyber Monkey—23505 State Road 40, Astor, and Hot Spot II—37415 State Road 19, Umatilla. Each location was raided, and more than 170 gaming machines and other cash assets were seized for the investigation.

Six employees were also issued citations for misdemeanor notices to appear. According to Florida State Statue 849.01, anyone who houses or maintains a gambling table or room is subject to a misdemeanor in the second-degree charge and is subject to punishment under 775.082.

What Is Considered Illegal Gambling In Florida?

The Florida statute states that residents can only win money in a contest of skill and not chance when a third party puts up the money. Any wagers taken on chance by persons or establishments not licensed by the state of Florida are considered to fall into the illegal gambling category.

Is Online Casino Gambling Legal In Florida?

The state does not permit its FL Indian casinos to offer their real-money wagering games online. However, there are no laws forbidding access to online casino sites operating from outside the state’s jurisdiction, making online casino gambling a legal grey area in Florida.

Current Florida gambling laws only address what brick-and-mortar casinos can offer, not what residents and tourists can access online. The Sunshine State recently allowed the Hard Rock casino to offer online sports betting despite several attempts by rivals to halt the action.